The device and connectivity lending scheme started as a pilot with 7 partners in autumn 2020 and has now grown into a network of 28 city partners working with City of Wolverhampton Council.
The Wolves Online team has this week been at Wolverhampton’s Central Library to talk devices, connectivity and skills with residents as part of national Get Online Week (18 to 24 October). Digital partner CityFibre also supported the event.
The hundreds of devices so far supplied to residents include laptops, tablets, MiFi devices and sim cards.
They have been used to close the digital divide in the city for adult education learners, people on basic skills courses, clients of the Wolves at Work and Black Country Impact employment programmes, vulnerable adults and carers, and to support children and young people with their studies during lockdown.
The Council’s Cabinet Member for Digital City, Councillor Obaida Ahmed, said: “The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of digital connectivity, however those without digital access or skills are being left behind.
“The City of Wolverhampton is committed to digital inclusion. It is fundamental, not a ‘nice to have’ – that is why we have ensured that digital is an integral part of our Relighting Our City recovery commitment.
“Digital is the primary means of connection and access to essential services and digital skills are crucial for economic resilience and growth, providing a gateway to jobs, progression, social inclusion and cohesion.
“It is crucial all residents can benefit by ensuring they have the devices and connectivity to get online and improve their life chances - we fully recognise how critical and life-changing connectivity can be.
“The Wolves Online scheme is just one initiative as part of our wider work on being a fully digitally inclusive city.”
Find out more about WV Online at Digital Wolves.